Forget work-life balance — living ‘the good life’ means being successful in these 4 metrics

Eric Barker is the author of “Barking Up The Wrong Tree.” In this video Barker reveals the four areas you need to fulfil in order to be happy. The following is a transcript of the video.

In terms of a big thing everybody deals with today is work-life balance.

Nash and Stevenson two researchers at Harvard realised that there are common mistakes that people make in terms of evaluating work-life balance.

One that they talked about was when people use a collapsing metric and that’s when they take their life and evaluate it by one metric, one number. Some people use happiness. Some people use money. And basically that’s not balanced at all.

When you throw everything into one bucket, that bucket does well but you’re missing out in other arenas. So the collapsing metric like it’s just make more money means your relationships don’t do well, your happiness doesn’t do well. That’s problematic.

Another problematic method that people use is what’s called a sequencing strategy where they say part of my life I’m going to focus on education and then I’m going to focus on my career, then I’m going to focus on my relationship and life’s just never that clear-cut.

What they did realise was the people who did get, the executives who are most successful in terms of work-life balance actually use four metrics. The first one is happiness and that was, “Are you enjoying what you’re doing?” The second was achievement. “Are you doing well, getting a head in your career?” Third was significance, and that was, “Is what you’re doing having positive effects in the people you love?”

And forth was legacy, which in some small way, is what you’re doing making the world a better place? And when people deposited a little bit in each one of those buckets on a weekly or monthly basis, they ended up finding a good approximation of work-life balance.